Saturday, January 9, 2016

Hanging with The Redhead Express in Key West

Darryl and I actually had to work while we were on vacation in Key West. It was such tough and tiring work we were required to do too. (Can you read  the sarcasm in that sentence?) 

Our main responsibility was to babysit little Rachel while her mom and sisters played two, three hour sets each day at a wonderful restaurant called Blue Heaven and her daddy ran the merchandise / sales table.

The RedHeads first show was Saturday the 26th at 10:00 a.m. Darryl and I went early to have breakfast. The food was so flavorful and delicious! They are famous for their Eggs Benedict at breakfast. I had one of their signature 'Bennys' and was delighted.

This handsome guy came buy to say hello and of course, taste our food.
The girls put on such a wonderful show and the restaurant started setting out more and more chairs for people just to sit and listen. They literally packed the house every time they played.

Sometimes the wait to get a table was over an hour long. I had one women tell me that listening to the girls was worth the wait. 

Most of the seating for Blue Heaven is out doors on the patio. They have a ping pong table set up, a local artist selling his paintings in an impromptu gallery, a physic reader, or fortune teller as we used to call them in the old days, a local artisan selling hand made wind chimes, and a gift shop. It's all very eclectic and fun.

People watching the band from the patio while they wait on a table

or watching from the porch, they just didn't want to leave while the girls, or their brothers, The Walker Boys, were on stage.

Looking towards the bar.
And yes, that is an old water tank on top of the roof of the bar.

They would play from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and then get a 5 hour break -

During the break the band would rest up in the apartment and Darryl and I would usually go back to the campground and swim or take a nap, 

or go into town to find a delicious snack and look at the many shops. Sometimes we would visit with Deb Stevenson, Kelly's mom, a wonderful cook and great new friend, (and I don't just love her for her cooking! ;-)  Brett and Apryll, or run errands for anyone of the family who needed something.

At 6:00 p.m. The RedHead Express would start their second show and play until 9:00 p.m. The crowds were amazing. People who were eating wouldn't leave their tables and it sometimes caused a back up and the Management would come and ask the girls to take a 20 minute break so people would leave their tables. Each night the restaurant was packed. Even the locals started coming out to hear the girls. (That's saying something in Key West!)
Cody is the Merchandise Manager for the bands and is quite busy during the sets. Kendra's husband Kelly is their sound technician and can be seen walking throughout the venue monitering the sound. 

They played this same schedule from the 26th through Janauary 1st.- 2 shows a day. It was exhausting for the girls, but they never let is show on stage and no matter how tired I knew they were, they were always gracious and kind, happy and smiling, and took time to talk to everyone who came up to them. 

Cody and Kelly get a chance to chat during the morning set.

The people who started it all! - their mother, Apryll Walker, holding her grandson Ryan, and their dad Brett, talking to a new friend at Blue Heaven.

The Walker Boys, Sean (17), Joseph (15) and Ammon (13), aren't just the road crew helping to set up and break down after every show, they also have their own band and are quite popular with the crowds. "Budapest" anyone?

On Wednesday night during one of their breaks, the owner of the restaurant asked the girls to come and meet a special guest. They went up to a private dining area where they met Kenny Chesney!! Wow! He told the girls that they sounded great and gave them some very good advice and left them with a cool souvenir, an autographed cloth napkin from the restaurant! You can see a picture of it here.

I don't know if I can express how much fun Darryl and I had as we tried to help the Walkers and the Band in anyway we could and being able to be a small part of their crew..... okay... the official Rachel Babysitters. It was fun to talk to the people at the restaurant and hear their reactions to the girls and their brothers. I was complimented several times by people who thought I was their mother (must be the red hair) and watched their surprise when I said I was only their outlaw.... er... in-law. All in all it was a delightful holiday break.


Van-Go said...

Thank you for the inside back stage, sneak peek, fly on the wall look at your week. Love you blog Thanks for sharing Hugs.

ryan lowry said...

Oh you poor dears! I can't imagine the sacrifices you made on this trip. I hope the Walkers really appreciate all the painstaking work you did while on your vacation!